There was a dramatic finish to the Munster Mid Am, with Pat Murray winning his fifth title after a three-hole playoff.
It was day two of the 54 event which was hosted by Newcastlewest Golf Club. Local man Brian Lenihan and four-time winner Pat Murray were both tied on 215 (+2) after 54 holes. The Newcastlewest man dropped a shot on the 18th giving Murray an opportunity to win with a par on the last. Murray missed the tricky six-foot putt, meaning a three hole play-off was needed to decide the winner. Heavy rain dominated the final round, and there were fears at one point that play would be suspended. The Newcastlewest members however assisted in clearing standing water from several greens to ensure play continued. The rain returned for the final few holes but cleared before the play-off began.
The first play-off hole was halved but Murray went one ahead on the 11th (2nd play-off hole) when his par beat Lenihan’s bogey. The third play-off hole was the 9th and Lenihan had a great recovery from the bunker to leave himself three feet for par. That forced Murray to get up and down from the edge of the green, and he did just that – becoming a five-time winner of the Munster Mid-Am Championship. Gary O’Flaherty (Cork) shot a level par round to take third place, Jim Carvill (Banbridge) took fourth place after he also shot level par in the final round.
Simon Miskelly (Knock) was fifth and James McLoughlin (Portumna) won best nett. Jim Long, Chairman Munster Golf thanked the Officers, members and staff of Newcastlewest for hosting the event and for assisting in another well-run event. He had articular praise for the volunteers who assisted in clearing the greens during the final round which ensured that play continued. The Championship is kindly sponsored by Rathkeale House Hotel and hosted by Newcastlewest Golf Club. The next event on the Munster Golf calendar is the Munster Sneiors which takes place in Lee Valley Golf Club on Tuesday & Wednesday.